Post List

  • November 9, 2010
  • 05:30 AM

Surviving HIV

by Becky in It Takes 30

Untreated, HIV is normally a death sentence.  But not quite always.  A small number of people infected with HIV can survive for decades without symptoms.  They’re called “elite controllers”, and — although the fact that they’re healthy makes them hard to identify with certainty — they’re thought to comprise less than 1% of the infected [...]... Read more »

The International HIV Controllers Study. (2010) The Major Genetic Determinants of HIV-1 Control Affect HLA Class I Peptide Presentation. Science. info:/10.1126/science.1195271

  • November 9, 2010
  • 05:30 AM

The future babble of obesity prognostication

by Yoni Freedhoff in Weighty Matters

Lies, damn lies and statistics.Now to be fair I've been primed to disbelieve most future predictions by being mid-way through Dan Gardner's excellent Future Babble, but really, obesity rates to hit 42% is headline news?The headlines referred to a study published last week in PLoS Computational Biology that had some truly fancy Harvard folks hammer out a formula to predict what obesity's going to do down the road. Those fancy folks are building on a prior study of theirs that proved that obesity ........ Read more »

Hill, A., Rand, D., Nowak, M., & Christakis, N. (2010) Infectious Disease Modeling of Social Contagion in Networks. PLoS Computational Biology, 6(11). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000968  

  • November 9, 2010
  • 05:07 AM

Identity crisis

by David Winter in Careers - in Theory

One of the most influential thinkers in the field of developmental psychology was Erik Erikson. Originally a pupil of Freud, he made a name for himself with his work on the development of human social identity. I read about Erikson’s theories when studying for my professional qualification, but most emphasis on developmental theory in careers [...]... Read more »

  • November 9, 2010
  • 04:30 AM

Bombers wearing suicide vests can be detected from a safe distance

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

Sensing and identifying the improvised explosive device suicide bombers: people carrying wires on their body From The Journal of Defense Modeling and Simulation: Applications, Methodology, Technology Terrorist threats from small devices continue to be a very real global concern. A reminder of the persistent danger from such weapons was flagged just last week as Federal [...]... Read more »

  • November 9, 2010
  • 03:32 AM

The rise of white graphene

by Michael Berger in nanowerk

Along with graphene, boron nanoribbons have attracted more and more fundamental research interest. However, a major challenge in providing experimental evidence is that the preparation of atomically thin boron nanoribbons is very difficult. In new work that represents an important step in bridging theoretical predictions and experimental realization of atomically thin boron nanoribbons, reseaerchers demonstrate the successful fabrication of 'white graphene' nanoribbons - made of thermally and ch........ Read more »

Zeng, H., Zhi, C., Zhang, Z., Wei, X., Wang, X., Guo, W., Bando, Y., & Golberg, D. (2010) “White Graphenes”: Boron Nitride Nanoribbons via Boron Nitride Nanotube Unwrapping. Nano Letters, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/nl103251m  

  • November 9, 2010
  • 03:25 AM

Genes To Brains To Minds To... Murder?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

A group of Italian psychiatrists claim to explain How Neuroscience and Behavioral Genetics Improve Psychiatric Assessment: Report on a Violent Murder Case.The paper presents the horrific case of a 24 year old woman from Switzerland who smothered her newborn son to death immediately after giving birth in her boyfriend's apartment. After her arrest, she claimed to have no memory of the event. She had a history of multiple drug abuse, including heroin, from the age of 13. Forensic psychiatrists wer........ Read more »

Rigoni D, Pellegrini S, Mariotti V, Cozza A, Mechelli A, Ferrara SD, Pietrini P, & Sartori G. (2010) How neuroscience and behavioral genetics improve psychiatric assessment: report on a violent murder case. Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience, 160. PMID: 21031162  

  • November 9, 2010
  • 01:09 AM

The clock speed of perceptual experience

by Janet Kwasniak in Thoughts on thoughts

Horowitz and group investigated the timing of attention shifts with a number of clever experiments aimed at separating the contributions to the total time of elements of attention shifts.
Abstract: Do voluntary and task-driven shifts of attention have the same time course? In order to measure the time needed to voluntarily shift attention, we devised several [...]... Read more »

Horowitz, T., Wolfe, J., Alvarez, G., Cohen, M., & Kuzmova, Y. (2009) The speed of free will. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 62(11), 2262-2288. DOI: 10.1080/17470210902732155  

  • November 9, 2010
  • 12:07 AM

Electrical enhancement of mathematical ability

by Michelle Greene in NeurRealism

Mathematical ability is highly linked to earning power and career success.  A new paper  in Current Biology demonstrates that six days of 20 minute sessions of electrical stimulation over the parietal lobe can increase some numerical literacy tasks, even six months after the stimulation was applied!The electrical stimulation is called transcranial direct-current stimulation (TDCS). In this paradigm, electrodes are placed on the scalp as in EEG, and then a small amount of current (1-2 m........ Read more »

  • November 8, 2010
  • 08:47 PM

Genomic patterns of pleiotropy and the evolution of complexity (Wang et. al 2010)

by Victor Hanson-Smith in Evolution, Development, and Genomics

Posted by Victor Hanson-Smith, Conor O’Brien, and Bryn Gaertner. One of the grand challenges of evo-devo is to understand how mutations of genetic sequences affect concomitant phenotypic traits.  Eighty-one years ago, Fisher (1930) proposed that every mutation may affect every … Continue reading →... Read more »

Wang Z, Liao BY, & Zhang J. (2010) Genomic patterns of pleiotropy and the evolution of complexity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(42), 18034-9. PMID: 20876104  

  • November 8, 2010
  • 08:41 PM

Caperea alive!

by Darren Naish in Tetrapod Zoology

By now you might be relatively familiar with the bizarre soft tissue and bony anatomy of the peculiar, poorly known Pygmy right whale Caperea marginata [a juvenile Caperea that stranded on New Zealand is shown above; original image by New Zealand Department of Conservation, from Te Papa's Blog]. If you missed the relevant articles you might want to check them out here (on the giant, asymmetrical laryngeal pouch), here (on the vertebrae and ribs) and here (on the skull, ribs and tail). These ........ Read more »

  • November 8, 2010
  • 08:31 PM

Ocean acidification negatively affects coral establishment

by Phil Camill in Global Change: Intersection of Nature and Culture

When CO2 from fossil fuels accumulates in the atmosphere, some of it dissolves into the oceans where it reacts with water to form a weak acid (H2CO3) —carbonic acid— that lowers seawater pH and makes it increasingly difficult for corals and other calcitic organisms to form their calcium carbonate (CaCO3) skeletons.
A new study in the [...]... Read more »

Rebecca Albright, Benjamin Mason, Margaret Miller, and Chris Langdon. (2010) Ocean acidification compromises recruitment success of the threatened Caribbean coral Acropora palmata. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/

  • November 8, 2010
  • 07:27 PM

Potential genetic basis for why BPA is harmful to animals

by Phil Camill in Global Change: Intersection of Nature and Culture

In a forthcoming article in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Patric Allard and Monica Colaiácovo use a nemotode (round worm) system to explore how BPA damages genetic processes in animals.
BPA ranks among the highest production volume chemicals with a global annual production scale of ≈4 million metric tons. It is commonly used in [...]... Read more »

Patrick Allard and Monica P. Colaiácovo. (2010) Bisphenol A impairs the double-strand break repair machinery in the germline and causes chromosome abnormalities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/10.1073/pnas.1010386107

  • November 8, 2010
  • 07:05 PM

Quantitative Population Impact of Adoption Among California Sea Lions

by Michael Long in Phased

Adoption frequency among California sea lions appears to be between roughly 6% and 17%, and is possibly a major contributor to sea lion populations.... Read more »

  • November 8, 2010
  • 05:18 PM

John Everett, part III.0: If some is good, then more must be better.

by csoeder in Topologic Oceans

Have you ever gone camping with someone who doesn’t know how to build a fire? It might go something like this: you get a pile of twigs burning, and immediately your friend starts piling on huge logs. The fire dwindles. “Hey,” your friend says, “This fire sucks. It must need more logs.” If some fuel [...]... Read more »

Coale, K., Johnson, K., Fitzwater, S., Gordon, R., Tanner, S., Chavez, F., Ferioli, L., Sakamoto, C., Rogers, P., Millero, F.... (1996) A massive phytoplankton bloom induced by an ecosystem-scale iron fertilization experiment in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Nature, 383(6600), 495-501. DOI: 10.1038/383495a0  

Iglesias-Rodriguez, M., Halloran, P., Rickaby, R., Hall, I., Colmenero-Hidalgo, E., Gittins, J., Green, D., Tyrrell, T., Gibbs, S., von Dassow, P.... (2008) Phytoplankton Calcification in a High-CO2 World. Science, 320(5874), 336-340. DOI: 10.1126/science.1154122  

Anthony, K., Kline, D., Diaz-Pulido, G., Dove, S., & Hoegh-Guldberg, O. (2008) Ocean acidification causes bleaching and productivity loss in coral reef builders. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(45), 17442-17446. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0804478105  

  • November 8, 2010
  • 04:36 PM

The Key to Everlasting Love

by eHarmony Labs in eHarmony Labs Blog

Read on to find out what couples can avoid doing in order to make love last a lifetime.... Read more »

Acevedo, B., & Aron, A. (2009) Does a long-term relationship kill romantic love?. Review of General Psychology, 13(1), 59-65. DOI: 10.1037/a0014226  

Hendrick, C., & Hendrick, S. (1986) A theory and method of love. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50(2), 392-402. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.50.2.392  

  • November 8, 2010
  • 04:30 PM

Lions and lollipops. The brain’s amazing race for meaning.

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

Some take the tube, others the train…The Amazing Race in the brain It makes sense that we need to process and respond to some stuff we see quicker than other stuff we see.  Take for instance a lion versus a lollipop.  This paper by Pessoa and Adolphs explores the mechanisms behind emotional processing of visual [...]... Read more »

  • November 8, 2010
  • 03:25 PM

Education of Children as a Form of Manipulation

by Colin Schultz in CMBR

This is another in a series of essays that I’m not *so* embarrassed by that I felt like sharing. Eric Cave in “What’s Wrong with Motive Manipulation” described a variety of ways in which we could be manipulated to alter our behaviour, movement or actions. He accurately described two different broad sets of motives which are acted [...]... Read more »

Cave, E. (2006) What’s Wrong with Motive Manipulation?. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 10(2), 129-144. DOI: 10.1007/s10677-006-9052-4  

  • November 8, 2010
  • 02:52 PM

Autism-Related Gene Spotlight: SLC4A10

by Lindsay in Autist's Corner

I'm doing a series describing genes that have been found to be associated (even weakly, as this one is) with autism. This one is a membrane-spanning transport protein that exchanges sodium and bicarbonate ions for chloride ion; it is primarily expressed in the central nervous system. Mutations in this gene lead to changes in neuronal excitability, which can manifest as seizures.... Read more »

Jacobs, S., Ruusuvuori, E., Sipila, S., Haapanen, A., Damkier, H., Kurth, I., Hentschke, M., Schweizer, M., Rudhard, Y., Laatikainen, L.... (2008) Mice with targeted Slc4a10 gene disruption have small brain ventricles and show reduced neuronal excitability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(1), 311-316. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0705487105  

  • November 8, 2010
  • 01:40 PM

Why bother with happiness? Broaden and build theory & Chronic pain

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Readers may be wondering why I’ve come over all happy clappy and jolly joy germ – well, I realised I’d been writing a lot about experimental and theoretical factors found to influence vulnerability to chronic pain, but I had been writing less about ways to help people cope more effectively with chronic pain. I do … Read more... Read more »

  • November 8, 2010
  • 01:34 PM

Transparent mouse embryos and hematopoietic cell clusters

by Erin Campbell in the Node

I was lucky in graduate school and my postdoctoral research—I was a microscopist working on a transparent organism (C. elegans).  Some microscopists don’t have that luxury, but have developed amazing techniques in order to visualize development in organisms such as mice.  In the November 1 issue of Development, Yokomizo and Dzierzak use a technique that [...]... Read more »

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